Saturday, December 19, 2009

Spreading the Curse

So, we've got to make Vampire characters tonight. I expect it'll be a disaster, though not because of Vampire, but because this is the first time we've got the whole group back together since WotG, and there's going to be problems, and that will result in drama. Not the least of which: Every time I ask for someone to do something with my microphone, they all hem and haw and pass the buck to one another. *sigh* We'll see if that continues to be the case.

For Vampire itself, we're in touchy territory. Alot of the players believe that it's "gay," by which they mean "Girls love the stuff, and if we got good at it, we'd get laid alot, which is totally not what straight men," or possibly "But... it's not werewolf!" Either way, I need to make my case fairly quickly, though I have been doing so for the past few weeks now, and I think I've solidly sold at least two of the tentative players, and the rest are operating off of trust for my excellent skill (which is good, as I do believe they'll like the game).

Designing Vampires is tricky, though. Setting aside interesting and potentially problematic issues ("What do you mean Humanity? You mean my vampire CARES if he kills people?!"), you can't "just" create a vampire. Too many vampires end up these orphans of the night, who simply stepped out of their coffin without having a personality or a past. World of Darkness centers everything on humanity, so I'll focus the players first and foremost on that. Following my abyssal advice, I'll also try to get the players to think about their relationships with one another, so no matter how much backstabbing and cut throat gameplay we see, the coterie itself will stay united. Vampire, Mortal, Coterie: that's the three-pronged approach I'll take, and we'll sort of flit from one to another until we have everything figured out.

I think the players will have the hardest time grasping both how powerful and powerless vampires are. This dichotomy actually appealed to me, as it melds the "power fantasy" that some players want with the "survival horror" that others want. If I handle it right, it'll be the "best of both worlds," but if I screw up, we could end up alienating both. I'm confident I have it in hand, but the players will need to design their characters appropriately, and that means conveying this truth to them well.

Wish me luck.

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